Tiny Dancer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Tiny Dancer"
Single by Elton John
from the album Madman Across the Water
B-side "Razor Face"
Released 7 February 1972
Format Vinyl record (7")
Recorded Trident Studios
9 August 1971
Genre Soft rock, symphonic rock
Length 3:38 (single)
6:12 (album)
Label Uni (US/Canada)
DJM Records
Writer(s) Elton John, Bernie Taupin
Producer(s) Gus Dudgeon
Elton John singles chronology
"Levon"
(1971)
"Tiny Dancer"
(1972)
"Rocket Man"
(1972)
Music sample
"Tiny Dancer"
Single by Ben Folds
from the album Ben Folds Live
Released 2002
Genre Piano Rock
Length

3:16 (Single)

5:23 (Album)
Label Epic
Ben Folds singles chronology
"Still Fighting It"
(2002)
"Tiny Dancer"
(2002)
"Adelaide"
(2005)
"Tiny Dancer"
Single by Tim McGraw
from the album Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors
Released 2002
Format CD single
Genre Country
Length 5:09
Label Curb
Producer(s) Byron Gallimore, Darran Smith, Tim McGraw
Tim McGraw singles chronology
"Red Ragtop"
(2002)
"Tiny Dancer"
(2002)
"She's My Kind of Rain"
(2002)

"Tiny Dancer" is a 1971 song by Elton John with lyrics by Bernie Taupin. It appears on John's fourth album, Madman Across the Water, and was released as a single in 1972. In the U.S. it was certified Gold on 19 May 2005, and Platinum on 19 August 2011 by the RIAA.[1]

Background and writing[edit]

The song was written by Taupin to capture the spirit of California in 1970 encapsulated by the many beautiful women he met, because there are so many band seamstresses in California. A common misconception concerning this song is that it was written for Maxine Feibelman, Bernie Taupin's first wife. Rather, the song was simply dedicated to her on the album Madman Across the Water.[2][3]

Another common misconception is that the song references Billy Joel in the line "Piano man he makes his stand". The Billy Joel song was based on experiences that occurred in 1972.[4] Tiny Dancer was recorded in 1971.

History[edit]

The song features a piano-based melody during verses and an arrangement that at the start features pedal steel guitar and light percussion but, transitioning subtly halfway through one of the choruses, by the end is driven by Paul Buckmaster's dynamic strings, along with a barely heard backing choir. Clocking at 6:12 on the full-length album version, it was edited down considerably for radio play to 3:38.

"Tiny Dancer" was initially a non-starter as a single in the US, reaching only #41 on the U.S. pop chart, and was not even released as a single in the UK. The song fared better in Canada, where John had much of his early commercial breakthrough success, peaking at #19. It was also a hit in Australia, peaking at #13. Eventually, the song slowly became one of John's most popular songs even in the territories that initially failed to embrace it, and the full-length version is now a fixture on North American, UK and Australian adult contemporary and rock radio stations.

It was ranked No. 397 on the 2011 List of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[5]

Other versions[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

  • In the season 2 episode of "The Office" called "The Dundies," Michael Scott sings the song but changing he words to "You have won a tiny Dundie," an office award, before bar patrons mock him, calling out "Sing it, Elton!" Later the "Tiny Dancer" chorus plays over the final scene as Jim Halpert watches Pam Beesly and Angela Martin drive away.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dan, "Under Cover: Tiny Dancer - As Heard On", 20 April 2012, "[1]", 24 July 2012
  2. ^ Lyrics
  3. ^ "Tiny Dancer by Elton John", 24 July 2012.
  4. ^ Billy Joel: The Life and Times of An Angry Young Man (p. 73) by Hank Bordowitz
  5. ^ "500 Greatest Songs of All Time". 4 July 2011. Archived from the original on 7 April 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "Lani Hall's Tiny Dancer cover of Elton John's Tiny Dancer", "[2]", 24 July 2012
  7. ^ "Red Hot Cilli Peppers - Tiny Dancer", 11 April 2008" on YouTube, 24 July 2012
  8. ^ "Dave Grohl - Tiny Dancer", "[3]", 24 July 2012
  9. ^ "Elton heads galaxy of stars backing Lily-Mae's cancer fight", "http://www.independent.ie/national-news/video-elton-heads-galaxy-of-stars-backing-lilymaes-cancer-fight-3303420.html", November, 2012
  10. ^ "Tiny Dancer - A Song for Lily-Mae", "http://www.eltonjohn.com/news/news_details.aspx?postid=58721679-ac79-4af6-96c7-b1c65ba5a42b", November, 2012
  11. ^ "Budweiser Elton John Tiny Dancer Peter Stormare Super Bowl XLV Commercial Ad 2011" on YouTube, 6 February 2011, 24 July 2012
  12. ^ "Lip Sync Battle with Joseph Gordon Levitt, Stephen Merchant and Jimmy Fallon" on YouTube, 24 September 2013

External links[edit]